Parliament

We took the hourlong tour of the NZ Parliament complex just after our walk through the garden. No photos allowed inside, so sadly we didn’t get to record our young tour guide. Her nametag said Cora, or maybe Carla, but that didn’t matter… it was obvious that her real name was Hermione.

The complex has three very distinct buildings… the modern Beehive (mostly offices, some like it, some don’t, according to Hermione/Cora), and the Edwardian neo-classical section with the actual legislative chamber, both above. Below, the Victorian Gothic Revival library building.

We intended to go sit in and listen to debate, but the gallery was full, owing to the agenda being taken up of valedictory speeches and MP’s friends and family occupying all the seats. It’s somehow awesome that Parliament here has the same feeling as a high school basketball game when the underdog team unexpectedly makes it to the state championships.

Wellington Botanic Garden

We spent a nice hour at the Wellington Botanic Garden on our little mini-vacay. The easiest way to see the garden is to ride the cable car up to the top and stroll down.

The Carter Observatory is on the same grounds, but was closed that day. Sad.

The Japanese maple showed a certain frizziness that Lee is all too familiar with in this humid climate.

This bench commemorates the life and works of a former head gardener whose name – if one believes what one reads on commemorative benches – was Mr. Moss.

This tui bird gave us quite a show, but I didn’t get a good shot of his distinctive white throat plumage.

Baby ducks.

Some of the themed gardens, like the roses and camellias, weren’t blooming much, but overall it was a beautiful spot on a lovely day.